What You Should Know About Fecal Transplants

Most of us know there is something called “good gut bacteria” that’s important to our health. We also know that antibiotics can harm this bacteria. For some people, their body’s ability to create good bacteria has been negatively affected and they may need medical intervention.

About 1 in 5 patients diagnosed with C. difficile infections, for example, will get the infection again. For some, they will get the infection repeatedly – a fact that could prove fatal. For these and other patients with colon and gut bacteria issues, fecal transplants are one potential answer. Fecal transplants can address C. difficile infections and other illnesses that affect gut bacteria.

What Are Fecal Transplants?

Fecal transplants, also known as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), take fecal matter from a healthy patient and donate it to someone who doesn’t have healthy gut bacteria. The process is simple: A healthy donor’s stool is collected and mixed with a saline solution before being strained so it can be placed in the recipient patient.

The donated matter can then be placed in the patient’s body through an enema, colonoscopy, endoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Once this happens, the idea is that the recipient patient will be able to absorb the healthy gut bacteria from the donor, helping their own body “kick start” their immune system and the production of more good bacteria.

Are Fecal Transplants Effective?

Fecal transplants have a 90% success rate, according to some studies. There have also been more than 27 studies published in research journals revealing that fecal transplants are effective. They are often used to treat patients who have repeated Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections or who have Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Fecal transplants were first used as far back as the 4th century in China. In the United States, the FDA classified this treatment as an Investigational New Drug (IND) in 2013.

Alternatives to Fecal Transplants

One of the best ways to avoid the need for fecal transplants is to maintain a strong immune system and healthy levels of good gut bacteria. This helps create a situation where C. difficile and other conditions are less likely, meaning that fecal transplants may not be needed. Taking a prebiotics supplement like Prebiotin may be one solution to encouraging the immune system and the good gut bacteria.

Many people have heard of probiotics. These are the live bacteria found in some foods (like yogurt). Prebiotics, on the other hand, are the fibers that feed good gut bacteria and let them thrive. You can think of them as the food for the good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics may help promote good gut and colon health, which can boost immunity and colon health.

For some patients who need to replace good gut bacteria, prebiotics may be an ideal solution. If you have even some good gut bacteria, introducing prebiotics can help create an environment where those bacteria can thrive, letting them grow in greater numbers.

Deciding to Get a Fecal Transplant

If you decide to get a fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), look for a doctor who has experience with the procedure. If you do decide to get an FMT, make sure you encourage the new, healthy bacteria to flourish after the transplant. Prebiotin could help you build a microbiome that lets the donated bacteria thrive — contact us today to learn more!

 

 

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